WRIGHT COUNTY BOARD MINUTES
APRIL 28, 2015
The Wright County Board met in regular session at 9:00 A.M. with Husom, Sawatzke, Daleiden, Potter and Borrell present.
Daleiden moved to approve the 4-21-15 County Board Minutes as presented. The motion was seconded by Husom and carried 5-0.
Petitions were accepted to the Agenda as follows: Aud./Treas., “Approve a Temporary 1-4 Day On-Sale Liquor License for Clearwater American Legion” (Hiivala). Daleiden moved to approve the Agenda as amended, seconded by Husom, carried 5-0.
The Consent Agenda was discussed. Sawatzke requested that Item B, “Authorize Acceptance of the SJI Technical Assistance Grant, Tenth District Courts Space Needs Assessment” be pulled for discussion. On a motion by Borrell, second by Daleiden, all voted to approve the remainder of the Consent Agenda:
Refer To Personnel Committee Hiring & Retaining Qualified Information Technology Personnel
Approve Abatement, PID# 114-500-174201, State of MN-DNR
Approve Abatement, PID# 108-030-007090, Kevin & Kelly Luedemann
E. HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES
1. Position Replacements
A. Financial Worker
B. Office Technician I
C. Social Worker
F. HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES
1. Refer HHS Building Remodel Modification to 5-13-15 Building Committee Meeting
G. SHERIFF’S OFFICE
1. Position Replacement
H. SHERIFF’S OFFICE
1. Position Replacement
A. Civilian Communications Officer
Sawatzke asked for discussion on Consent Item B, Administration, “Authorize Acceptance of the SJI Technical Assistance Grant, Tenth District Courts Space Needs Assessment.” The grant award is $17,500 and is for the period of 4-13-15 to 4-13-16. Sawatzke asked Board members for their understanding of the parameters and expectations of the study. Husom responded that the study would look at the space needs to determine whether to make use of the current space and the most efficient way to do that or what the future may hold for moving Courts to the LEC site. Sawatzke viewed those as two separate things. During a tour of the Tenth Judicial District space, he said specific areas of concern were pointed out. With a new location, those would be addressed. However, he felt there are other ways to rectify those concerns. Sawatzke said he supports an arraignment room at the Law Enforcement Center (LEC). Daleiden said the space in this facility will be outgrown at some point but the study needs to focus on this facility. Much of the change has to do with tweaking of computer systems. He stated that not all space below courts is occupied at this time. Daleiden said the County should plan for the future but the current space will need to be utilized at this time. Potter said the space study should include short and long term needs. The Space Study completed approximately 11 years ago provided two options (current location and LEC). Funding was designated in the budget for this space study through a matching grant.
Sawatzke stated there is a general consensus that at the time Courts would move to the LEC site, the move may also include other departments such as Court Services, County Attorney, and Law Library. Daleiden said there will be a large cost to both options. It needs to be determined how to function at the current location. Sawatzke said nothing will have been accomplished through the study if the end result is moving Courts to the LEC site is viewed as the only practical solution. Sawatzke is not ready to move Courts to the LEC site. The County is in the midst of a $16 million Public Works Building project. He thought the County should reduce the debt on the Public Works Building and LEC before moving forward with Courts. Although the Courts project may be next in line, it may be in eight years rather than two years. Daleiden asked whether there is a committee that works with Courts. Husom responded that would be the Court Security Committee.
Daleiden moved to accept the Technical Assistance Grant from the State Justice Institute for the Tenth District Court, Space Needs Assessment, with the 50% matching funds committed through the CIP Levy Stabilization Fund. The motion includes referring the issue to the Court Security Committee to provide the Courts with guidelines of how the Board wants this accomplished. Recommendations will be brought back to the County Board. Sawatzke said action today is acceptance of the grant funding. There will need to be an RFP. Direction will then be given on the expectations for the minimum number of years Courts will be at this location, avoiding focus being placed on what can be done at the LEC location. Potter said the Space Needs Assessment will be completed through the Department of Justice. The motion was seconded by Borrell and carried 5-0.
Lt. Tim Pippo, Corrections, presented a draft resolution proclaiming May 3-9, 2015 as National Correctional Officer and Employee Week. Daleiden moved to adopt Resolution #15-15, seconded by Husom, carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.
Bob Hiivala, Auditor/Treasurer, requested approval of a resolution of County participation in the “Targeting Better Management Practices (BMP’s) in the Crow River Watershed Partnership Project.” The County has participated in the Septic Loan Project since 2011. Funding was provided with allotments following. In the first fund there was a total of $510,000, used to help finance the Septic Loan Program. Those funds have been expended. In the second fund, there is $250,000 and application can be made for additional allocations. Hiivala explained that these are low interest loans provided for septic upgrades. The participants are charged 3% and agree to either up front the funding or repay through tax assessments (10 year loans). The County borrows from the allotment at a 2% rate. Bill Stephens, Environmental Health Officer, provided information on the Ag BMP Program which is a similar program through the MN Department of Agriculture. Stephens said the SWCD would like to discuss the County acting as fiscal agent for the Program, which has focused on the upgrade of failing septic systems. Each situation or application is reviewed to find the best option. A total of 42 individuals have been helped. Daleiden moved to adopt Resolution #15-16, for approval to enter into the MN Clean Water Partnership Project Implementation Loan Agreement with the C.R.O.W., as project sponsor, and the MPCA, to conduct Targeting BMP’s in the Crow River Watershed Protection Project. The motion includes authorizing execution of the MN Clean Water Partnership Project Implementation Loan Agreement Amendment No. 1. Daleiden requested that the first reference of “BMP’s” in the Resolution be changed to reflect “Better Management Practices (BMP’s).” The motion was seconded by Borrell and carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.
Hiivala requested approval of a quote from Veolia Environmental Services in the amount of $11,271.94 for removal of hazardous waste from the former Kings Marble property. This is a tax forfeit property located in St. Michael. Approval would include authorizing Hiivala’s signature on the quote. Potter said the costs will be assessed against the property and the person purchasing the property will be responsible for those costs. Daleiden asked whether other companies submitted quotes. Bill Stephens, Environmental Health Officer, said RFP’s were not completed. Veolia was selected as they are listed on the State Contract, providing the best value. The cost may vary depending on what services are required. Two assessments have been completed by Veolia and they have conveyed they are comfortable with the accuracy of their quote. Items may be removed from the quote if they are not deemed as hazardous material. Stephens, Hiivala, and Asleson will work together to make that determination. Husom made a motion to approve the quote from Veolia Environmental Services in the amount of $11,271.94 for removal of hazardous waste from the former Kings Marble property. The motion was seconded by Daleiden and carried 5-0.
At 9:30 A.M., Sawatzke made a motion to close the bid process for the Sheriff’s Support Building. The motion was seconded by Daleiden and carried 5-0. Bids were opened later in the meeting.
A Joint Ditch 14 Public Hearing was held on 4-07-15. Hiivala explained that Joint Ditch 14 is governed by Wright, Meeker, and McLeod Counties, and the minutes are being presented for acceptance, not approval. Daleiden moved to accept the minutes, seconded by Sawatzke, carried 5-0. The Joint Ditch 14 Public Hearing Minutes follow:
Present: Wright County Commissioner Borrell, and Husom; Meeker County Commissioner Larson; McLeod County, Commissioner Nagel; Ron Mortensen, Meeker County; Kurt Deter, from Rinke Noonan and Janice Edmonson, Auditor’s Office.
Kurt Deter, from Rinke Noonan opened the meeting by stating the purpose of the meeting was to discuss the two petitions, submitted by benefited landowners Byron Sangren and Davis Sand, to abandon a part of the drainage system. Deter stated Minnesota Statute 103E.806 allows the drainage authority to abandon any part of the drainage system that is not of public benefit and utility and does not serve a substantial useful purpose to property remaining in the system. Deter continued that under Subd. 5 an order under this section does not release the property from a drainage lien filed on account of the drainage system before the date of the order. After partial abandonment of a drainage system, a repair petition may not be accepted for the abandoned part of the drainage system and the responsibility of the drainage authority for that part of the drainage system ends.
The first petition discussed was submitted by Byron Sangren, located at 11656 Quist Ave. SW, Cokato. The area Sangren would like to request partial abandonment is part of the main outlet ditch in the NW 1/4 of section 30-118-28 in Stockholm Township. Sangren requested to abandon the small section on his property only. After some discussion, it was determined that the water flows the other direction in this area and therefore is of no benefit or useful purpose to property remaining in the system. Borrell asked if there were any objections, from other landowners present, to abandon this portion of the ditch. Since there were no objections, Husom made a motion to abandon the small section of ditch in section 30-118-28 on Sangrens’ property. The motion was 2nd by Larson. No further discussion, the motion carried 4-0.
The second petition discussed was submitted by Davis Sand requesting a partial abandonment of about 1300 feet, Branch #2 tile, from the inlet stand pipe near the west boundary line to the East line of the SE 1/4 of the NW 1/4 of Section 32 in Stockholm Township. Dave Sand was present to represent his son Davis regarding the partial abandonment. Sand stated that his son owned about 60 acres in section 32 in the watershed of JD #14 on the upper end of Branch #2. Forty acres has been enrolled in Reinvest in Minnesota (RIM) since 1989 to enhance water quality and restrict erosion. Twenty-one of this permanent and perpetual easement is a shallow water impoundment in the low lying basin over the old defunct and abandoned JD #14 tile. The recent withdrawal of the petition request for an improvement of JD #14 and the repair study now being considered didn’t include any part of Branch #2. The water from a couple of properties lying at a higher elevation to the East of my sons property has an adequate outlet flowing through this impoundment basin to the inlet stand pipe on Branch #2 on my sons’ West property line. Since 1989 there has been no apparent or current problems, it has been shallow water all these years.
Borrell pointed out that if things do change say 40 years from now, Sands will have a much better chance of having the county drain it, if he decides not to abandon this portion of the ditch. Deter reinforced that after partial abandonment a repair petition may not be accepted for the abandoned part of the drainage system. Nagel pointed out that once it is abandon, you can not ever get it back on as part of the ditch. Borrell pointed out, why abandon the area if this section does not release the property from a drainage lien. Sand stated that the petition for improvement did not include Branch #2, which started this process of partial abandonment. Viewers were also thinking that it would lower the assessment by a little bit.
Deter reminded everyone, that the Petition for Improvement is off the table. Brent Nyquist, benefited landowner, wanted to make sure Sands understood the reason Branch #2 was not added to the improvement, is there was nothing that needed repair. Nyquist’s only concern, regarding the partial abandonment, was his land is down slop from it. Deter pointed out, that as long as the area where there is stand pipe is not abandon, then it will always drain. After further discussion, Deter recommended that the drainage authority table the petition. Nagel made a motion to table the petition for partial abandonment of about 1300 feet, Branch #2 tile, from the inlet stand pipe near the west boundary line to the East line of the SE 1/4 of the NW 1/4 of Section 32 in Stockholm Township. Husom 2nd the motion. Motion carried 4-0.
Last order of business was to discuss the recommended split between the costs related to the repair compared to the improvement on Joint Ditch 14. Deter stated that Bolton & Menk has determined that 75% of the Engineering costs were necessary to determine location and elevations of the existing system and efficiency of the system and therefore would be costs related to repair of the system. 25% of the total amount invoiced by Bolton & Menk would be costs toward the improvement. The drainage authority would also need to give authority to the Auditors’ Office to return any balance of the bond, to the petitioners.
Bolton & Menk’s billings to date are $24,197.00 and therefore the following allocation of costs would occur: 75% Repair = $18,147.75 25% Improvement = $6,049.25.
Husom made a motion to accept the recommended split by Bolton & Menk of 75% of the Engineering costs be costs related to the repair of the system and 25% of the total amount would be costs toward the improvement. Larson 2nd the motion. Motion carried 4-0.
Hearing was adjourned at 4:45 PM
(End of Joint Ditch 14 Public Hearing Minutes)
Brian Asleson, Chief Deputy Attorney, brought forth a request to approve a Seasonal On-Sale Liquor License for Woodland Hill Vineyards, LLC DBA Woodland Hill Winery. The request was discussed at the 4-14-15 County Board Meeting. Since that time, Asleson has been in contact with the State of MN, Department of Public Safety, on the definition of a restaurant. The County can issue On-Sale Liquor Licenses to restaurants. Currently Woodland Hills does not prepare food on site but food is served. The Department of Public Safety responded that they would defer to the Department of Public Health on food licensing issues, but they would require that the food definition license meet that which is in the liquor statute which addresses meals being regularly prepared on site. Asleson said there is a winery in Meeker County that operates similarly to Woodland Hills in that they hold events such as wedding receptions and bring in catered food. Asleson recommended approval of the Seasonal On-Sale Liquor License conditioned upon Woodland Hills meeting any requirements of the Department of Public Safety and Department of Public Health. Woodland Hills would not have their final license until they are approved by both of those entities. Asleson stated a Seasonal License can be issued for up to nine months. He suggested that the license fee is prorated dependent on the number of months selected.
Discussion followed on prior Board approval of a Seasonal License for the Whispering Pines Golf Course. Sawatzke felt that approval was shorter than nine months because it was thought that patrons would not want to be outside during winter months. Sawatzke said he wants to be consistent. Asleson said in review of the Board Minutes from April, 2013, Whispering Pines Golf Course was approved for an eight month Seasonal License (April-November).
Asleson said Woodland Hill Winery has requested to sell only strong or Craft beer and that is what has been approved by Franklin Township. The County is only allowed to approve what the Township approves. Borrell made a motion to adopt Resolution #15-17 approving an eight month Seasonal On-Sale Liquor License for Woodland Hill Vineyards, LLC DBA Woodland Hill Winery, with the condition that Woodland Hills meets the requirements of the Department of Public Safety and the Department of Public Health. This approval is for strong or Craft beer. The motion was seconded by Husom and carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.
On a motion by Sawatzke, second by Husom, all voted to approve the March Revenue/Expenditure Budget Report.
At the request of Hiivala, Sawatzke made a motion to approve a Temporary 1-4 Day On-Sale Liquor License for Clearwater American Legion for an event on 5-16-15 at the Clearwater Rodeo Grounds. The motion was seconded by Daleiden and carried 5-0.
On a motion by Daleiden, second by Borrell, all voted to approve the claims as listed in the abstract, subject to audit, for a total of $120,324.32 with 159 vendors and 256 transactions.
The bid opening occurred for the Sheriff’s Support Building at the relocated Impound Lot. Eight bids were received. Craig Hayes, Purchasing Agent, said the proposal was advertised in the Herald Journal and posted on the Wright County website. A $250 bid bond is required. Hayes extended appreciation to Capt. Todd Hoffman and Lt. Sean Deringer of the Sheriff’s Office for their work on the building specifications. The bids are as follows:
Bidder; Bid Amount; Bid Bond
BV Construction, Buffalo; $738,000; Yes
KUE Contractors, Watkins; $980,080; Yes
Ebert Construction, Corcoran; $874,900; Yes
RAM, Winsted; $793,000; Yes
Wenck Construction, Bloomington; $1,132,000; Yes
AB Ameribuilt Buildings, Waite Park; $767,934; Yes
Liman Post & Beam, Annandale; $745,500; Yes
Ernst General Construction, Buffalo; $784,517.73; Yes
Hayes recommended laying the bids over to the next Board Meeting to allow additional review and consultation with the low bidder. Daleiden recalled the bids were supposed to be referred to the Building Committee. Capt. Todd Hoffman, Sheriff’s Office, stated that when this was discussed previously, it was suggested that staff meet with Commissioner Daleiden to review the bids. Daleiden made a motion to accept the bids received. He will meet with staff to go over the bids. The bids will be brought forward at the 5-05-15 County Board Meeting. The motion was seconded by Husom and carried unanimously.
At the request of Marc Mattice, Parks Administrator, a motion was made by Daleiden to adopt Resolution #15-18 authorizing Mattice to sign grant applications, agreements, and certifications in regards to the Wright County Snowmobile Association participation in the Grant in Aid Snowmobile Assistance Program for the 2015-2016 season. The motion was seconded by Borrell and carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.
Mattice asked the Board to acknowledge a donation from the Monticello Rotary Club in the amount of $16,506.25 designated for the purchase of equipment to start construction of a Natural Themed Playground at Bertram Chain of Lakes Regional Park. He said the Monticello Rotary Club took on this community service project and applied for a District Grant in the amount of $12,000. The Monticello Rotary Club received the following donations from other Rotary Clubs: St. Michael-Albertville ($1000), Cokato ($500), Buffalo ($1000) and Alexandria ($500). Mattice said the following donations have been received to continue with future phases of the Bertram Chain of Lakes Regional Park: Jim Agosto family ($10,000), Phil LaVallee family ($5050); Friends of Bertram Chain of Lakes ($1000); and Monticello Women of Today ($200). Mattice wanted to acknowledge the Monticello Rotary Club for their donation, their work, and their volunteering as this project moves forward. The donation will be receipted into and expenses funded from the Bertram Chain of Lakes fund. The Grand Opening for the Playground is planned for 6-27-15. The Board acknowledged the donations.
Virgil Hawkins, Highway Engineer, said bids were opened on 4-10-15 at the Public Works Building for various Seasonal Requirement Bids (outlined below).
At the recommendation of Hawkins, Daleiden moved to award the 2015 Seasonal Bid of Micro-Surfacing to Astech Corp. of St. Cloud, Minnesota, in the amount of $385,991.65. The motion was seconded by Husom and carried 5-0.
2015 Seasonal Bids, Contract #1504, Engineer’s Estimate: $345,210.18
Micro-surfacing on CSAH 12, 22, 75
Name of Bidder; Bid Amount - Breakdown/Grand Total
Railroad Protective Liability Insurance, 5,000.00
Bituminous Material for Micro-Surfacing 43,154 g, 3.50/151,039.00
Micro-Surfacing Surface Course, 1,402 ton, 140/196,280.00
Bituminous Material for Fog Seal, 1,125 g, 2.50/2,812.50
Traffic Control, 1.00 LS, 24,000.00
Interim Pavement Marking, 12,473 LF ,.55 / 6,860.15
GRAND TOTAL: $385,991.65, 11.81% over estimate
(End of Micro-Surfacing bids)
Hawkins recommended awarding the Seasonal Bid for Sealcoating to Astech Corporation of St. Cloud in the amount of $1,024,603.20. The County’s portion is $858,245. The bid includes work for Corinna and Southside Townships and the Parks Department. Daleiden moved to approve the Sealcoating Bid for Astech Corporation of St. Cloud, $1,024,603.20. The motion was seconded by Borrell and carried 5-0.
2015 Seasonal Bids, Contract #1503, Engineer’s Estimate: $1,025,656.56
Seal coats on various routes
Name of Bidder; Bid Amount - Breakdown/Grand Total
Railroad Protective Liability Insurance, lump sum 7,500.00/7,500.00
Bituminous Material for Fog Seal, 95,495 g, 1.50/143,242.50
Bituminous Material for Sealcoat, 232,670 g, 1.00/232,670.00
Bituminous Sealcoat, 830,964 S Y, 0.70/ 581,674.80
Traffic Control, 1.00 LS, 45,000.00/ 45,000.00
Interim Pavement Marking, 41,474 LF, 0.35/14,515.90
GRAND TOTAL: $1,024,603.20, 0.10% under estimate
Pearson Bros., Inc.;
Railroad Protective Liability Insurance, lump sum, 5,000.00/5,000.00
Bituminous Material for Fog Seal, 95,495 g, .12/11,459.40
Bitumious Material for Sealcoat, 232,670 g, 2.89/672,416.30
Bituminous Sealcoat, 830,964 S Y, 0.47/ 390,553.08
Traffic Control, 1.00 LS, 55,000.00/ 55,000.00
Interim Pavement Marking, 41,474 LF, 0.32/13,271.68
GRAND TOTAL: $1,147,700.46, 11.90% over estimate
Railroad Protective Liability Insurance, lump sum, 20,000.00/20,000.00
Bituminous Material for Fog Seal, 95,495 g, 1.70/162,341.50
Bituminous Material for Sealcoat, 232,670 g, 1.00 232,670.00
Bituminous Sealcoat, 830,964 S Y, 0.87/ 722,938.68
Traffic Control, 1.00 LS, 45,000.00/ 45,000.00
Interim Pavement Marking, 41,474 LF, 0.35/14,515.90
GRAND TOTAL: $1,197,466.08, 16.75% over estimate
(End of Sealcoat Bids)
Hawkins recommended awarding the Site Grading project at the Public Works site to Frattalone Co., Inc. of St. Paul, Minnesota in the amount of $96,268.50. The Engineer’s estimate was $115,000. Part of the cost reduction relates to work being completed by staff. This project was budgeted at $150,000. Daleiden moved to award the bid to Frattalone Co., Inc. in the amount of $96,268.50, seconded by Sawatzke. Announcement of the work was placed on the County website and in the Herald Journal. The motion carried 5-0.
Category: Public Works Site Grading
Engineer’s Estimate: $115,000.00
Name of Bidder; Bid Amount - Breakdown/Grand Total;
Frattalone Co., Inc.; 96,268.50
Terning Excavating; 101,346.20
Fehn Companies, Inc.; 110,567.08
Veit & Company, Inc.; 164,560.50
(End of Public Works Site Grading Bids)
Hawkins recommended awarding the Seasonal Bids of Pavement Markings to Traffic Marking Services of Maple Lake in the amount of $318,900. Daleiden moved to award the bid as recommended, seconded by Husom. The motion carried 5-0.
Category: Pavement Markings.
2015 Seasonal Bids, Contract #1505, Engineer’s Estimate: $324,600
Name of Bidder; Bid Bond; Yellow; White; Bid Amount
Traffic Marking Service; Yes; $12.05/gal (10,000); $12.40/gal (16,000); $318,900.00
AAA Striping; Yes; $12.31/gal (10,000); $12.66/gal (16,000); $325,660.00
(End of Pavement Markings bids)
At the request of Hawkins, Borrell moved to approve all Plant Mixed Materials and Equipment bids, seconded by Daleiden, carried 5-0. In response to Daleiden, Hawkins said the bituminous materials are not delivered.
Category: Plant-Mixed Bituminous Mixture Seasonal Bid ($/ton). Budgeted Amount: $334,000.
SP 9.5 Fine Mix
Name of Bidder; Bid Bond; Item 1, SP 12.5, 100; Item 2, SP 9.5, 3,500; Item 3, Fine Mix, 100
Mid-Minnesota Hot Mix; Yes; $53.20 100 +ton/day; $54.40, 100+ ton/day, $53.40; $70.00, 100+ ton/day $60.00
Omann Brothers, Inc., YES, $50.50 100+ ton/day; $52.00, 100+ ton/day $51.00; $69.69 100+ ton/day
Knife River; YES; $47.00 100+ ton/day ; $49.00 100+ ton/day; $65.00 100+ ton/day
Category: Equipment Rental
18 CY Scraper/hr.:
Terning Excavating Inc., Cokato, MN;
$175.00/hour, 19 & 21 CY, Pull Scrapers & 9520 John Deere Tractor
Terning Excavating Inc., Cokato, MN;
$150.00/hour; D6K-6 way Dozer and D6R
Jake’s Excavating, Inc., Buffalo, MN;
$125.00/hour; Cat D-5M, 6-Way Blade w/ Optional Root Rake
Rubber Tired Tractor, Mounted Backhoe/hr: No bids
Hydraulic Excavator or Large Backhoe/hr
Terning Excavating Inc., Cokato, MN;
$135.00/hour, 315 BL
Jake’s Excavating, Inc., Buffalo, MN;
$135.00/hour, PC 160-7 w/Hyd Thumb & Coupler 40,000#
Self-Propelled Pneu, Tired Roller/hr: No bids
4CY Front End Loader, (4WD pneu. tired)-/hr: No bids
Motor Grader/hr: No bids
Crawler Type Loader, (3CY)/hr: No bids
2CY Skid Loader (#1650 life capacity):
Jake’s Excavating, Inc., Buffalo, MN;
$115.00/hour, Cat 277C, 3000 lb lift
1/2 CY Skid Loader (#1650 life capacity): No bids
10 CY Truck/hr.
Jake’s Excavating, Inc., Buffalo, MN;
$85.00/hour, 12 CY Truck-Tri Axle, Hauls 17 ton
10 CY Truck w/snowplow & wing: No bids
Self-Propelled Pickup Sweeper/hr.:
T&S Trucking, Buffalo, MN
$75.00/hour, 2004 Elgin Pelican Sweeper
Trax-Cavator/hr: No bids
247B Rubber Track, Loader 1950# Lift Capacity 9’ Dump: No bids
247B CAT, All-Terrain Loader: No bids
257 CAT All-Terrain Loader: No bids
(End of Plant Mixed Materials and Equipment Rental Bids)
Tim Dahl, Risk Manager, presented a request to repeal and replace Policy 702, Drug and Alcohol Use. The effective date of the Policy would be 7-01-15. Policy 702 was written in 2004. The proposed Policy will update language to meet current standards. Through the proposed Policy, Wright County will have the ability to conduct non-commercial drivers random drug/alcohol testing. Discussion on this Policy is being continued from the 11-21-14 Personnel Committee Meeting where recommendations were addressed in the draft Policy and reviewed by the County’s Labor Attorney. Dahl said out of that meeting, the recommendations were:
1. Replace term “safety sensitive” with “Sheriff’s Office”
2. Determine whether Sheriff Hagerty would be included in the random testing pool
3. Confirm random drug tests would be budgeted under Budget 100, Professional Services
Regarding replacing the term “safety sensitive” with “Sheriff’s Office,” Dahl said they have done a lot of work with the Labor Law Attorney. The recommendation is not to take the safety sensitive position and redefine it. The added definitions within the Policy address that. This is because “safety sensitive” is defined under Statute.
Borrell suggested tabling discussion on this item and referring it to a Committee Of The Whole Meeting. He said the proposed Policy does nothing with regard to what he asked to have done. Sawatzke asked Sue Vergin, Assistant County Coordinator, whether the proposed language is what was agreed to during negotiations with the Deputies. Vergin said it is. Sawatzke said he understands Borrell’s concern of what is deemed a “safety sensitive” situation. For example, someone telling an employee to do a site inspection in a snowstorm is not a safety sensitive classification. Borrell referenced Page 6 of the draft Policy, Safety-Sensitive, which reads in part, “Safety-Sensitive is a job, including any supervisory, management or volunteer position, in which an impairment caused by drug and alcohol usage would threaten the health or safety of any person.” Borrell felt the language was too broad.
Dahl asked whether Borrell was referring to the random drug testing provision. His understanding is that random drug testing has to be negotiated with unions. He explained that random drug testing is selected through a consortium. The names of those who agree to random testing are submitted and drawn quarterly. Dahl would receive that report and send it to the appropriate department head to schedule a visit. He said this would not occur, for example, during a snowstorm when someone is coming in to plow roads. What would be different is if there is a situation with reasonable suspicion. Borrell does not have a problem with testing under reasonable suspicion; it is the random testing language in the document that he is concerned with. He feels Dahl is stating something different than what is reflected in the document.
Sawatzke said the Policy was negotiated with the unions. With the two unions where an agreement has been reached, the supervisors didn’t request review of this language. They indicated they would agree to the Policy. The Deputies took time to agree on language that was acceptable, which is the language that is being reviewed today. He said the Jailers/Dispatchers union will be presented with this draft language. Sawatzke informed Borrell that the language applies to deputies, dispatch, corrections, and supervisors in the Sheriff’s Office. Borrell thought the Policy should be changed to reflect “Sheriff’s Office.” Vergin stated that the Policy applies County wide but they did negotiate it with the unions. She felt there was confusion on random testing versus reasonable suspicion. Reasonable suspicion applies to all employees whereas random testing applies only in the Sheriff’s Office. Sawatzke said there are staff in the Sheriff’s Office that this testing will not apply to (office staff). Borrell asked whether this would only apply if a union negotiated it in. Sawatzke said that this applies only to those positions that are safety sensitive. However, if there is a problem and there is reasonable suspicion, all employees in the organization are subject to testing. Borrell called attention to the name of “Drug and Alcohol Testing for Non-Commercial Drivers.” He said it makes it look like alcohol is not a drug. Dahl said this is how it is written in Statute.
Daleiden moved to approve to repeal and replace Policy 702, Drug and Alcohol Use as presented with an effective date of 7-01-15. The motion was seconded by Husom. The motion carried 4-0 with Borrell abstaining.
A Budget Committee Of The Whole Meeting was held on 4-16-15. At today’s County Board Meeting, Sawatzke moved to approve the minutes. The motion was seconded by Husom and carried unanimously. The Budget Committee Of The Whole Minutes follow:
I. REVIEW 2014 BUDGET.
Hiivala distributed a Year End Budget Review for 2014 (see attachment presented at the 4-16-15 meeting. Corrections were made after the meeting, and an updated version of the Budget Review for 2014 is now posted on the County website).
Hiivala summarized the contents of the report which includes charts, graphs, and spreadsheets to illustrate revenue sources and expenditures for County Departments.
Hiivala said the 2014 Budget Review is a cash basis type of report. These are transactions approved by the County Board during the year. The Auditor’s financial statements include accrual entries booked after this report is compiled. The audited financial statements will be presented late this summer or early fall.
Daleiden asked how accurate this report has been in the past compared to the audited financial statements. Hiivala replied that this report is representative of the financial statements. However, sometimes there are major accruals. County staff is working on doing more of that analysis in-house. Contracts payable in the Road & Bridge Fund can be skewed quite a bit based on the status of contracts at the time of the report. Hiivala said every month he presents a Revenue Expenditure Report to the County Board. He also posts it on the County website.
Hiivala referred to Page 2 of the report, entitled, “Wright County Budget Summary, Fund Summary.” There are three major components of the County budget: The General Fund, Road & Bridge, and Human Services. The County also has debt service. Hiivala said the County levies 105% of debt service. Payments are made on time. In addition, two Lake Improvement Districts are included as part of the levy. The County’s operating budget was $102,330,902.00.
Hiivala directed attention to Page 3 of the report which has two pie charts: “Where it came from,” and “Where it went.” All the budgeted funds (General, Road & Bridge, and Human Services) were added together. The top chart (“Where it came from”) shows that 51 percent of County revenues are budgeted to come from taxes. Hiivala said in the past, State General Purpose Aid (or County Program Aid) was unallocated by the State. That is why he shows that wedge apart from the rest of the chart. However, this aid has not been unallocated for several years.
The bottom pie chart on Page 3, “Where it went,” indicates that 54 percent of the operating budget was spent on Personnel. Hiivala said 5 percent of the County operating budget is spent on debt service, 13 percent on highway construction and maintenance, 7 percent on Human Service programs, and 5 percent on debt service. The remainder of the operating budget is used to deliver services.
Pages 4 and 5 represent an overview of the General Fund. He drew attention to two Departments: Court Administration and Elections. Court Administration exceeded their expenditure budget. Hiivala said that was driven by court-appointed counsel. He said staff does their best to estimate the most accurate number.
Hiivala said the other Department was Elections. While his Department did their best to order only what was needed, expenditures exceeded the operating budget in this area. This may be due to an increase in absentee voting and the accompanying additional costs. The audited financial statements may note these two occurrences.
Hiivala said the other Departments came under budget on expenses. Overall, County revenues came in above budget. The General Fund balance shows the County turned back $2,813,867.94 from budget to actual. Sawatzke said the $2.8 million dollar balance is higher than last year. Hiivala confirmed that it is.
Daleiden asked about the -$212, 217.08 balance in the Recorder Department. Hiivala said expenditures are reported as a negative number, but overall, the Department took in less money than anticipated. Hiivala said he will address this later in the presentation.
Hiivala turned to Page 6 regarding the Road & Bridge Fund. He said the Highway Department does road construction and maintenance. There are several divisions within this Department that receive budget allocations. Currently no revenues are reflected for those divisions. Hiivala said during the budget process, he proposed adding Department 325 to move construction revenues to the same as construction-related expenses. Currently, Department revenues are all under Department 380.
Hiivala said the Highway Department took in $193, 462. 09 less than budgeted, but they spent $267,280.30 less on budgeted expenditures. At this date, the Highway Department is turning back $73,818.21.
Hiivala responded to Daleiden’s question regarding how close this report comes to the financial statements. He said the County’s biggest exposure is the Road & Bridge Fund.
Borrell asked what kind of revenue the Highway Department receives. Daleiden said they get grants. Hiivala said he would explain Highway revenues in detail later in the presentation. Hiivala said revenues were $193,462.09 less than budgeted.
Hiivala directed attention to Page 7, which provides an overview of the Human Services Fund. There are three major divisions: Income Maintenance, Social Services, and Public Health. Hiivala said the Health & Human Services Department (Agency) came in significantly under budget in both revenues and expenditures. On a cash basis, it appears the Agency is turning back $1,018,085.82. Daleiden commented that the Agency’s actual revenues are down considerably from the budgeted amount. Hiivala said the Agency provided an explanation regarding the timing of the grants they receive, and how this affected revenues to date.
Hiivala said the two pie charts on Page 8 concern actual revenues (“Where it came from”) and expenditures (“Where it went”) for the General Fund only. He said 59 percent of General Fund revenues came from taxes. On the expenditure side, 68 percent of the General Fund was spent on personnel. Hiivala clarified that the tax levy is included in the revenues as well.
Page 9 contains two bar charts showing budgeted and actual revenues and expenses, excluding property taxes. Hiivala said the actual fees received exceeded the budgeted amount. That is driven primarily by revenue received from other counties for boarding prisoners. Actual personnel expenditures were lower than budgeted because less was spent than anticipated for wages and benefits.
Hiivala turned to Pages 10 and 11, “Wright County Budget Summary Analysis of Revenues By Category / By Department.” He explained that these spreadsheets detail the revenue sources for the Departments in the General Fund. Hiivala said the account codes at the top of the page that start with 50 are under Taxes. The codes that start with 52 are under other categories. This information is also posted on the County website with more details on each line item. Hiivala gave an example from the Auditor/Treasurer’s Office, which took in $27,215 less in taxes. He said this column refers to deed and mortgage taxes related to recording documents. He said this line item is better than last year. Hiivala added that the County Motor Vehicle Department exceeded budget. He said the Transfers In column for Auditor/Treasurer is where expenditures for the Compliance Fund are allocated for the new tax program. Hiivala said this item is under budget since this money has not yet been spent, and he has not transferred the funds in.
Hiivala referred to the Information Technology (IT) Department line on Page 10, which shows $16,000 in revenue from training classes hosted by IT. The expenditures and revenues offset each other as the County did not receive the revenue or incur the expense.
Also on Page 10, Hiivala drew attention to the Unallocated line for the State General Purpose Aids. He said the County revenues were significantly above budget in this category. Part of this revenue came from the Invasive Species grant approved by the County Board. Hiivala said no revenue for this item was budgeted. The Expenses spreadsheet will show where this money was spent. He said the entire amount went to the County Soil and Water Conservation District.
Hiivala said the County came in under budget for Investment Income. He has provided an investment schedule alerting the Board regarding where County funds are invested. He is buying investments at a premium, and drawing premiums down on coupons the County receives. The County is still yielding high income, but Hiivala said he is recognizing that revenue later, after the premium is gone.
Turning to the Recorder Office line on Page 10, Hiivala said revenue from recording documents has been down several years in a row. He will address this during the budget process going forward.
The Surveyor Department under Transfers In refers to initiatives such as Pictometry. This expenditure did not occur in 2014, so there will be no Transfer In.
Hiivala said the Assessor’s line indicates $38,375 under Transfers In. He said this is a timing issue. Expenses for Computer-assisted Mass Appraisal (CAMA) were budgeted last year, but there was no expenditure or revenue. CAMA was not budgeted in 2014, but when the expense occurred, he transferred in the funds.
Hiivala explained that the Transfers In for the General Fund are tied to the actual budget. The County did not make any money, but simply transferred in the money indicated previously. Revenue from fees is from assessing contracts with cities and townships.
Planning & Zoning experienced a significant increase in fees due to an increase in the number of permits. This was anticipated when setting the 2015 budget.
Hiivala directed attention to the Sheriff’s Office line on Page 11. He said State Shared Revenue (Police Aid) is trending up more than anticipated. However, under Fees, the Sheriff’s Office came in under budget by $229,093.73. He explained that some cities cut back on their patrol service contracts with the Sheriff’s Office. That meant there was less contract revenue and corresponding expenditures. Hiivala said under Corrections, a contract to house Sherburne County prison inmates rendered a substantial revenue increase for the County. Hiivala said this compensated for the shortage of investment income and other ills. Overall, the County came in $170,860.71 more on a $52 million line item, or .32 percent above the budget.
Daleiden said Parks revenues were up in Grants and Fees. Sawatzke asked if they raised the rates for campgrounds. Daleiden said rates were raised due to the technology associated with providing a credit card option. He said a $5 convenience fee was charged per reservation. Sawatzke said that income would be applied to revenues. The expenses would show up elsewhere.
Hiivala turned to Pages 12 through 14. These spreadsheets detail the expenditures side of the General Fund. There was significant personnel turnover of staff and several Department Heads retired.
Sawatzke asked if the net surplus under Personnel Services is due to position openings, or were new employees hired at a lower Step. Hiivala said that is a fair assessment. Sawatzke asked why the Personnel Services line item for Commissioners has a surplus of $23,706.43 when all five Commissioners were present for the entire year with set salaries. He asked whether their paychecks were smaller than they should have been last year. Hiivala responded that the Commissioners were allowed an opportunity to choose whether they wished their paychecks to allocate deductions for Social Security. The County budgeted Social Security, but there was a significant reduction in the amount of Social Security withheld from Commissioners’ pay checks.
Daleiden asked whether Personnel Services also includes per diems. Hiivala said it includes per diems and insurance. He added that all line items that start with 61 are combined under Personnel Services.
Hiivala said the anticipated County contribution for Social Security for the Commissioners was $12, 989. The actual expenditures was only $3,517. Sawatzke asked whether every Commissioner had Social Security deducted from their pay checks. Hiivala assumed some of the Commissioners opted out of Social Security deductions. He added that Commissioners could choose to take deductions for Social Security and the Public Employees Retirement Association (PERA). Hiivala said he would research the Social Security issue for the Commissioners.
Hiivala continued with Court Services on Page 12. He said this Department enjoyed a reduction in retention costs. In addition, several positions were open in the Auditor/Treasurer’s Office. Hiivala said it appears that Services, and Rent, Repairs & Maintenance are over budget since Marco copier leases didn’t get transferred. Consequently, the budget didn’t get transferred. That accounts for the apparent surplus.
Hiivala moved to the IT Department line item, also on Page 12. Under Capital Outlay, $52,459.21 was spent over budget on furniture and equipment for IT and the Attorney’s Office. These purchases were delayed from 2013 till after the law changed in 2014 that removed the County’s obligation to pay sales tax. However, IT came under budget for the Department as a whole, so there was no need to modify the Department budget or ask the Commissioners for approval.
Under Department 100, Unallocated, Hiivala said there is money left over under Personnel Services. During union negotiations, there is a placeholder under Department 100 used for settlements. There was $255,903.42 left over. Hiivala said $250,000 was the placeholder to be utilized in subsequent negotiations or unforeseen events. He added that this money is not wasted, but is embedded in County turn back dollars.
Daleiden asked about Non-Operating expenses under Department 100 Unallocated. He said there is a major deficit of $130,659.86. He asked whether that was from attorney’s fees. Hiivala replied that the negative amount of $122,076.66 under Services is for negotiation. The negative amount under the Non-Operating category was for the money given to the Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) for a noninvasive species grant.
Hiivala directed attention to the Assessor category on Page 13. This Department purchased the CAMA program as mentioned previously, and spent $38,128.55 more than budgeted. This report reflects the timing regarding when those invoices were received. The $38,128.55 in this column represents the transfer in for this expense for the Assessor’s Office.
Hiivala said the Maintenance line item reflects a large savings in fuel and supplies. The Sheriff’s Office shows additional savings on fuel. The County recognized a reduction in fuel costs for the 2015 budget.
Parks, Department 521 Miscellaneous on Page 13 shows Parks and Trails funds from the State. Increased revenues were realized, but passed through.
Sawatzke referred back to the Social Security deduction issue for the Commissioners. He asked Hiivala whether half of the amount due was deducted from the Commissioners, and the other half taken from the County. Hiivala said that is correct. Sawatzke said the amount paid last year was $14,192 for 2014. The County’s share should have been 7.65 percent. Hiivala said he couldn’t answer the question at this meeting. He said the County averages about $230 per month in Social Security deductions. Sawatzke said it should be about five times that amount. Hiivala said he would look into it.
Hiivala moved to the Road & Bridge revenue and expense pie charts on Page 15 (“Where it came from” and “Where it went”). Hiivala said 39 percent of revenue came from taxes. Revenues also came from State Aid allotments and Federal grants for projects. Highway construction constituted 36 percent of expenditures, 29 percent for Highway Maintenance, and 21 percent of the budget was spent on Personnel.
Page 16 compares budget to actual revenues and expenses. State grants tied to road projects came in under budget. Hiivala said more Federal revenues came in than anticipated, either from Federal projects started, or the County receiving Federal money for completed projects.
Hiivala turned to Page 17. He said this spreadsheet delineates revenue by major categories. He drew attention to the $1,370,950.37 in Federal grants that came in over budget. Daleiden said the Fees for Road & Bridge came in $387,356.29 less than budgeted. Hiivala said the County provides services and sells salt and gravel to the cities and townships.
Hiivala said Page 18 breaks down expenditures. Road & Bridge expenses were within .63 percent of budget for wages and benefits. Hiivala said deicing expenses impacted Department 330 (Maintenance 6500).
Pie charts on Page 19 show Human Services Fund revenues and expenditures. Hiivala said 35 percent of the operating budget for this Fund came from property taxes, 35 percent was derived from Federal grants, and 25 percent came from the State. Personnel comprised 62% of expenditures, and 28 percent went to programs.
Page 20 displays two bar charts with data on budget to actual revenues and expenses. Income Maintenance saw a decline in Federal and State reimbursements for medical access transportation due to a corresponding decline in expenses of nearly 40 percent. Reimbursement from Federal programs decreased for a number of programs.
Sawatzke said certain positions are reimbursed at least partially. Personnel costs were down significantly. Schwartz said they are also waiting for clarification from the State regarding enhanced Medical Assistance (MA) funding. Most counties are not getting close to the amount they should be getting with the enhanced MA. Schwartz said the Agency is looking at that more closely.
Hiivala drew attention to Page 21 regarding revenues in the major Human Services categories. He said that the deficiency was in Federal grants. There was a shortfall in fees.
Hiivala said Page 22 shows that the County saved more than $1 million in wages and benefits. Hiivala said according to Schwartz and Partlow, all three areas were impacted by retirements, resignations, and extended employee leaves. Hiring for MnChoices Assessment was delayed due to the postponement of the rollout date for the new assessment tool. Schwartz said it did not take place until September.
Hiivala said Page 23, “Analysis of Expenses by Department / by Program,” shows the breadth of the Human Services Fund. Each program represents a lot of activity. This spreadsheet represents a breakdown of Income Maintenance, Social Services, and Public Health, and how they did by program based on budget.
Borrell commented that there is a savings on child support collections. He asked whether they have been successful getting noncustodial parents to pay back child support. Schwartz said part of the incentive performance is due to the collection rate, which is high, but not maximized.
Hiivala directed them to Page 24, which shows the status of the County’s cash. In 2013, the General Fund turn back was $3.697 million. This year it was down a bit. In 2014, the County adopted more aggressive revenue and expenditures. Hiivala added that these are all the funds in the County. There was $63,444,824.67 in the County coffers at the end of the year. Hiivala said funds were transferred from the rollback to the Surplus Fund and to the Capital Technology Fund. Borrell said the $63 million bond is not liquid, but much is tied up in bonds and investments. Hiivala agreed, saying it is not in a checking account.
Sawatzke asked why the 2014 Year End Budget Review that Hiivala distributed at this meeting states a 2012 Year End Review of $2,324,474.96, yet the 2012 Year End Budget Review he published at the time states a year end number of 3,997,000. He asked for an explanation of the $1,660,000 difference between the reports. Sawatzke said this is a significant difference. Hiivala said the $3.9 million from 2012 is correct. He will look into the difference between the two reports.
Hiivala said the purpose of this presentation is to fulfill his duty to declare to the status of County investments to the Board. He said this report does not include all the invested cash. Page 25 lists investments with local banks and investors. The total / average of the cost value is $63,861,593.95. Hiivala noted that 31 percent of County investments are liquid, with a zero to one-month duration. Hiivala said another 11 percent of County investments are invested from 2 to 12 months, with 7 percent invested for one to two years. He is trying to achieve the maximum possible yield for the County. Some investments are longer durations. Many are callables. This table shows how long various funds are invested.
Borrell said 31 percent of $61 million is liquid, and comes to about $18 million. If the County wanted to postpone doing a bond on the new Public Works project, this would make it possible. When the bond for the existing Law Enforcement Center comes due, the entire amount could be refinanced in one large bond. Sawatzke said the County won’t receive more money until mid-May. Hiivala said there needs to be cash flow for those first five months. He did not know whether there are enough liquid investments available to pay those construction expenses. There was further discussion regarding various ways the funds could be allocated. Hiivala said he would have to research how to cash flow in those scenarios.
Hiivala said if the Board wished, the County could start designating some of the fund balance for the 2014 financial statements toward future expenditures. If the County has five months operating expenditures, they could be designated for specific purposes.
Daleiden said on Page 24 under year end cash balances, the Landfill Post Closure item shows zero for 2014. The previous year it was $59,000. Hiivala said he would take a look at it.
There was discussion regarding whether to bond the potential $18 million for the Public Works facility, Sheriff’s Support Building, and Impound Lot, or pay cash for all or part of it now and bond later. Hiivala said he would take a harder look at the options.
Daleiden referred back to Page 24, Year-End Cash Balances, Item Number 23, Richard Ahlers. Hiivala said this is a Court Services account, and was related to a juvenile program. He did not have all the background information on hand.
Daleiden asked why the Year-End Balance for Nuclear Power (Page 24) was negative. Hiivala said they constantly run in the negative because their funding arrives mid-summer. The money is spent, the Department receives a reimbursement, and then spends that money down. This is the year that the County began to deduct money from that fund to reimburse wages.
There was discussion regarding the purposes of the Landfill Closure, Landfill Post-Closure, and SCORE line items on Page 24 under Waste Management / SCORE. Hiivala said the Year-End Cash Balance for Landfill Post Closure on Page 24 is the fund used to finance the Select Committee on Recycling and the Environment (SCORE). He said this will need to be addressed for 2015 and 2016. Hiivala said the County is not spending any money for the Landfill Closure fund. Also discussed were the status and cost of recycling in the County.
Sawatzke drew attention to Page 24, Debt Service, Department 833, Solid Waste Enterprise Fund balance of $146,931.82 for 2014. This is the assessment fund for the Compost Facility debt service. Sawatzke said this money should be an appropriate source of matching funds for the SCORE grant.
Hiivala said he would draft a resolution with Chief Deputy County Attorney Brian Asleson to transfer the cash balance of the Solid Waste Enterprise Fund in Department 833 to the Landfill Post Closure Fund in Department 392, if appropriate (Page 24). Sawatzke said he didn’t know if transferring was necessary. Hiivala said for the financial statements, it is better to not report conservation of natural resources out of debt service.
Hiivala referred to the Debt Service category (also on Page 24), Department 861, Sewer Subordinate District. There is debt service for this. Hookups to city services create revenue; if the number of sewer hookups is lower than expected, the debt service will need to be addressed.
There was additional discussion regarding those assessed, and how a shortfall would be assessed. Hiivala said the debt service is about $170,000 per year. There was discussion regarding the remaining term on the debt service.
Hiivala said the last investment schedule is the Cash Flow Report on pages 27 through 29. He said in closing that this has been a cash basis presentation for 2014. No action is needed. He would like to get closer to the audited numbers later this year before deciding what to do with various fund balances.
The meeting adjourned at 7:40 P.M.
Recommendation: Informational only.
(End of 4-28-15 Budget Committee Of The Whole Minutes)
A Building Committee Meeting was held on 4-22-15. At today’s County Board Meeting, Vergin clarified that the Guidelines will apply to all County facilities, not just the Government Center. Daleiden moved to approve the minutes, seconded by Husom, carried 5-0. The 4-22-15 Building Committee Minutes follow:
I. Conference Room Guidelines.
Kelly said the purpose of this meeting is to discuss proposed updates to the conference room guidelines. The biggest change pertains to allowing food in the conference rooms. This was not allowed in some of the conference rooms in the past.
In addition, Kelly said he felt it important to put the guidelines in writing. He distributed a document entitled “Conference Room Guidelines” (see attached). He said the first section (Items 1, 2 and 3) is identical to the verbiage approved by the County Board in 2012. The concern is that there are a limited number of conference rooms in the Government Center. Guidelines for outside groups are necessary to ensure sufficient space for County staff, affiliated outside agencies, and groups approved by the County Board. Potter said consistent guidelines are necessary.
Kelly referenced the second section, entitled “Other Guidelines.” This section outlines proposed changes, and also details current practices. The first bullet concerns Conference Room 122 by the employee lunchroom. Kelly said the room is equipped with numerous electrical outlets and a resilient floor. The location near the lunchroom makes it convenient for Department potlucks. However, Kelly said private showers or gatherings are not allowed in County buildings, as noted by the fourth bullet point in this section.
Kelly drew attention to the second bullet point under “Other Guidelines.” This clause states that conference rooms are signed up on a first-come, first-served basis. If a previously booked conference room is needed for a higher priority meeting, Administration will do their best to accommodate the first reservation. If there are no other rooms available, the first meeting may have to be canceled or rescheduled.
Kelly said the third bullet point under “Other Guidelines” encourages staff to work with Mary Kliber at the Jail for food and beverage service. That eliminates safety concerns regarding potential burns from carrying large pots of hot coffee, or slipping and falling due to spills. Kelly said promoting safety is also the rationale behind not overloading electrical outlets in any conference room.
Potter said this addresses most issues that may arise. Daleiden said Administration can make the necessary decisions regarding any situations that arise that may not fit precisely into the guidelines.
Regarding the sixth bullet point under “Other Guidelines,” Daleiden said he would like to allow non-employees access to conference rooms prior to 8 A.M. if escorted by an employee. Kelly said the main issue is Courts security. Usually the building is open by 7:45 A.M. He did not want non-employees in the building without anyone’s knowledge.
Recommendation: Approve update to Conference Room Guidelines.
(End of 4-22-15 Building Committee Minutes)
A Technology Committee Meeting was held on 4-22-15. At today’s County Board Meeting, Daleiden made a motion to approve the minutes. The motion was seconded by Husom and carried unanimously. The Technology Committee Minutes follow:
I. Discuss Role of Technology Committee.
Tagarro said he would like to draft bylaws or guidelines for the Technology Committee (Committee).
Tagarro said the Information Technology Department (IT) has a list of 92 projects. Some are minor, and others are broad in scope. He would like direction regarding prioritization of large projects such as OnBase and SharePoint that involve many of his staff and their time. Health & Human Services, Law Legal, the Sheriff’s Office, and Human Resources are departments with large projects that need to be prioritized. This Committee could function as a steering committee for future projects.
Tagarro said IT works on a lot of projects at once. He said the projects impact each other. For example, IT has one vendor for OnBase. There is one test environment and one production environment. It is not feasible to have the vendor work on two large projects at once.
Partlow said it would be good to meet regularly to keep apprised regarding which direction the County is going with technology projects. Tagarro agreed. He would like to give every department a view of the entire enterprise at once. Jobe suggested posting a project list on the Intranet. It can be updated as adjusted. Adam said he would do that.
Kelly said the Committee should meet regularly to be most effective. He asked Tagarro if there is a formal process for a department head to get a project on the list. Nelson said she has often wanted to address this issue. Tagarro said he will bring information on the project process to the next meeting. Nelson said they follow a format.
Daleiden said this will only work if there are representatives from the other departments on the Committee. Tagarro agreed.
Hoffman said the Sheriff’s Office would benefit from knowing the direction in which IT is moving. Some departments are tech-heavy and utilize software programs that are more network-oriented. Larger departments like Health & Human Services utilize software specific to their programs, and have several Information Systems Specialists (ISS) on site to assist them. Hoffman wondered whether the Sheriff’s Office is moving in a similar direction, requiring additional on-site technology staff. These staff members would be part of the Sheriff’s Office and not IT. Hoffman said the Sheriff’s Office uses a vast number of programs. He said he realizes there are issues with how much network access such department technology staff would have to the network. Jobe said the Sheriff’s Office staff may be more knowledgeable about the software they are using than IT. However, they need permission or administrative rights from IT to access the inner workings of the software to address problems. IT staff are experts on the enterprise system, more than proprietary software. Daleiden said it doesn’t make sense for IT staff to be trained on all software. They work on systems that touch everyone.
Jobe said departments run into access issues when there is a glitch or a problem. If a new version is launched, it could be a problem if the County’s system is not prepared for it. Daleiden said that is a communication issue. If an update is coming, IT should be informed. Jobe said departments may not know what the update looks like until it arrives. Nelson agreed. IT works in an accelerated time frame. Lead time is important. Sometimes vendors say an update will be one way, and then it changes, perhaps several times. Communication is extremely important. Nelson said the more IT opens security levels, the greater the risk that someone in another department could make a change that negatively impacts someone else. She said those core roles would likely stay in IT.
Tagarro said the original rationale behind a Technical Applications Specialist (TAS) in a department was to have an on-site expert on specific software that could liaison with IT. He said Nelson’s security concerns are valid. He’s seen occurrences in another organization where someone switched a plug that shut down the entire network. It’s a matter of balance. He has no problem with a TAS having full administrative rights within their specific software. However, Tagarro said allowing a TAS access to be able to configure a server that is being shared by other departments is risky.
Tagarro said this Committee may be the forum to discuss the future direction of IT. Daleiden asked whether department or project technology committee representatives such as Partlow and HHS Technology Coordinator Connie Mae Cooper should attend. Partlow said HHS has a Technology Committee that the Information Support Specialist and Cooper reside on, as well as selected IT supervisors such as Tagarro, Nelson, and sometimes K. Hayes. That is where discussions occur about HHS technology projects. New ideas go through the HHS committee first. If that committee supports the proposal, it goes to the management review team which includes HHS Director Jami Goodrum Schwartz, Partlow, Tagarro, Nelson and often Hayes. Once a proposal makes it past HHS management, Partlow didn’t think a second person from HHS would need to attend this Committee.
Hoffman said the Sheriff’s Office has a quarterly meeting regarding technology, but the process is somewhat undefined. He liked the HHS model. If someone in the department has an idea for a project, they bring it to the department committee and involve IT instead of buying a product first and then informing IT.
Jobe asked whether the role of the other technology committees should change. Tagarro said they should still exist, as they delve into a lot of detail on their own systems and projects. Jobe said a lot of projects originate in those committees. Nelson said that’s part of the problem. Projects originate from many sources.
Daleiden said IT has to devise guidelines. Tagarro said sometimes small items turn into big projects. What threshold determines when a project has to go through this Committee? Some projects simply need a few details cleaned up. Others are larger endeavors, such as the goal of Human Resources to transition entirely to paperless via OnBase.
Partlow said the biggest challenge in HHS is determining what constitutes an enhancement to the existing system, and what is a fix or new project. Nelson said each project can potentially grow, regardless of whether it is new or a fix or enhancement. IT needs to internally balance resources. If a task grows into a project, it should be designated such and tracked. Tagarro said there will be an ongoing discussion to create definitions and guidelines.
Hoffman said another issue is that some components in the server rooms at the Law Enforcement Center (LEC) that are County-owned, and some are not. Sheriff staff needs to know which components belong to the Sheriff’s Office, and which are the responsibility of IT. Sheriff staff does not know the life span for some of this equipment. Many are related to the infrastructure of the LEC and have impacts on security. Nelson said she knows the location and ownership of some of the equipment. There is a gap concerning the location of some of the equipment. Hoffman said this underscores the need for the Sheriff’s Office to have a Technology Coordinator on staff, similar to HHS, to be able to react proactively. Hoffman said they have one TAS on staff at this time.
Tagarro said it is worth pursuing more in-depth discussion to close those gaps, if the Sheriff’s Office is going to request more technical staff. Tagarro said IT could audit the server rooms and create detailed lists of their contents, the turnover of the equipment, which equipment IT is responsible for, and which falls to Building Maintenance.
There was discussion regarding the 800 MHz radio system and whether that should be incorporated into the Technology Committee as a project.
Nelson suggested cellular coverage for the Government Center as another topic for this Committee. Tagarro said they are also researching expanding cellular equipment at the LEC.
There was discussion regarding available vendors. Hoffman said more employees are bringing their own phones to work with the implementation of the County’s Bring Your Own Device program. Coverage is becoming an issue. Jobe said they need to find a vendor that allows rebroadcast of any major brands and has the appropriate licensing. Tagarro said more work needs to be done. He is working on finding a solution.
Tagarro asked whether the Committee should have bylaws or a mission statement. Daleiden said the Committee should have a mission statement. He also feels there should be a representative from each department. Jobe said departments should send the appropriate persons to the meeting. Hoffman said if the mission statement is ready for the next meeting and more people are present, it would be good to have the project guidelines done as well.
Daleiden said projects should be vetted through the five technology committees (Land Records, Law Legal, Health & Human Services, Sheriff, and Public Works) before coming to this Committee. Tagarro said that depends on the size of the project. He said further discussion is needed about that. Nelson said there is no group that covers all department technology.
Jobe said Administration, Veterans Services, and Extension are not included. Tagarro said they are sometimes discussed at the Leadership Team meeting. Daleiden said their projects can be discussed at this Committee.
Tagarro said the Committee can establish guidelines on how to initiate projects and publish them for all departments. If a department isn’t sure how to proceed, IT will provide direction.
Daleiden suggested scheduling the next Technology Committee meeting for 5-27-15. Tagarro said he will make it a goal to increase department representation at this Committee by the next meeting. He said the Leadership Team gave consensus regarding the need to prioritize projects a few meetings ago. Tagarro said he will create a mission statement for the Committee. They will meet regularly.
Tagarro said the last item regarding the Technology Committee that he wanted to discuss was whether the Committee may make official IT staff recommendations to the County Board. He understands that historically getting candidates to fill positions in the IT Department has been a challenge. Tagarro said a Network Analyst position was posted January 2014, but wasn’t filled until November. Then the person left shortly thereafter.
Jobe asked whether exit interviews inquired whether the problem is the pay or the challenge of so many projects with too little staff. Kelly said the County is competing with the private sector.
Nelson said the number of people who apply for IT positions is very small. Tagarro added that they frequently do not have the desired qualifications. Kelly said other counties are having similar issues.
Tagarro said the other issue with IT positions is that someone can go anywhere and work if the company networks. The IT market in Minnesota is good. There is no incentive to commute. Nelson said in the past, when they’ve gotten to the negotiation phase with a candidate, they find the dollar amount that IT can offer is considerably less than what they can get elsewhere. Daleiden said IT has permission to start them a little higher than the minimum.
Tagarro said he would like the Technology Committee to make official recommendations to the Board for new hires or projects. Partlow said the Committee needs to present a unified approach, stating that this project or position is what leadership has agreed upon, not just for IT, but for any department. Partlow asked Tagarro to present IT Department technology needs, as well as those from other departments, at the next Technology Committee meeting.
Tagarro said the IT Department is also looking toward Office 365 for 2017. A lot of planning needs to be done.
Recommendations: Tagarro will provide a draft mission statement and project guidelines at the next Technology Committee meeting on 5-27-15.
II. Update on Fiber Ring Infrastructure Upgrade.
Tagarro said the network has been working great. Jobe asked if the fiber ring will connect to the new Public Works Building. Tagarro said they are planning to add it to the ring.
Daleiden asked if IT is figuring a way to service the new Impound Lot. Nelson said they are considering two options. Tagarro said one is to still use available conduit. The other is a wireless solution. IT is still getting cost options.
Recommendation: Informational only.
(End of 4-22-15 Technology Committee Minutes)
On a motion by Husom, second by Daleiden, all voted to cancel the 6-30-15 County Board Meeting due to the occurrence of five Tuesdays in June.
Advisory Committee/Advisory Board Updates
1. State Health & Human Services Board. Daleiden attended a meeting on 4-21-15. The majority of the discussion focused on new financial software. Currently there are 71 guidelines for poverty levels that Health & Human Services follows. The goal is to reduce that number to 17. Also discussed were the budgets of the House, Senate and the Governor.
2. GRRL Board. Potter attended a meeting recently where the GRRL budget was discussed. Commissioner Kevin Maurer from Morrison County expressed concerns on the budgetary impacts on Morrison County. Potter said that Lee Kelly, Wright County Coordinator, will contact Deb Gruber, Morrison County’s Administrator, to discuss these concerns. Potter said Maurer has suggested a meeting with member counties, including representation from County Boards, Coordinators, and Administrators. Sawatzke provided history on the makeup of the GRRL Board in the 1990’s. At that time, some of the member counties tried to force a taxing district that Wright and Sherburne Counties did not want. In a compromise, the GRRL Board was reduced from 24 to 15 members and required a 2/3 plus one vote to pass a budget so lay representatives could not outvote the budget. Sawatzke thought that part of Maurer’s concern is the approval by the GRRL Board for a library in Sartell and the budgetary impacts of that approval. Potter stated that additional interviews for the Executive Director will be held on 4-29-15.
3. Central MN Emergency Medical Services. Husom stated seatbelt ticket revenues have declined, which is good because that means people are using seatbelts. Funding training and equipment for smaller departments will be a challenge going forward.
NAGC Networks Inc $4,970.50
Albertville Body Shop Inc 1,373.99
Albion Township 979.30
Ameripride Services 12.00
Amy Dupont 28.40
Anoka County Fiscal Serv. 14,169.00
Anoka County Sheriff 23,995.32
APEC Industrial Sales & Serv. 270.00
Aramark Services Inc 7,877.71
Bankers Advertising Co Inc 693.06
Beaudry Oil Co 419.80
Beaudry Propane Inc 2,892.30
Black Box Resale Services 2,209.00
BP Amoco 610.35
BP Amoco 191.82
Buff N Glo Inc 195.65
Buffalo Township 1,330.00
Bureau of Crim. Apprehension 120.00
C Walker Trucking 2,075.00
Climate Air 868.90
Cooks Correctional 1,389.75
Corinna Township 605.00
CST Distribution LLC 1,113.84
Databank IMX LLC 87.50
Dell Marketing LP 6,010.14
Emergency Automotive Tech 190.51
Fastenal Company 202.83
First State Tire Recycling 641.15
Hennepin County Sheriff 70.00
Highway 55 Trailer Sales 15.00
Hillyard Inc - Minneapolis 1,585.99
Indianhead Specialty Co Inc 16.85
Integrated Fire & Security 61.48
Intereum Inc 3,077.39
Interstate Automotive 125.00
Intoximeters Inc 201.00
Janet Shaddix & Associates 1,031.10
Keeper of the Stationery 95.00
Klatt True Value Electric 7.99
Laplant Demo Inc 659.85
Madden Galanter Hansen LLP 3,182.90
Marco Inc 740.80
McLeod County Sheriff 45.00
Menards - Buffalo 550.47
Middleville Township 1,030.80
MN Solid Waste Admin Assoc 75.00
MN Bureau of Crim. Apprehen. 150.00
MN Counties Computer Coop. 69.67
MN Counties Ins Trust 155.00
MN Monitoring Inc 1,008.00
MN Sheriffs Association 600.00
Neopost USA Inc 66.32
Northland Chemical Corporation 205.76
Office Depot 324.03
Office of MN IT Services 195.00
Potter/Michael J 176.50
Precision Prints of Wright Co 42.00
Pts of America LLC 1,711.79
Rad Training Inc 450.00
Rockford Township 1,287.40
Russell Security Resource Inc 57.75
Safetygear Corporation 386.73
Scuba Center 1,289.68
Select Account 135.60
Silver Creek Township 1,862.80
St Cloud Stamp & Sign Inc 61.45
State Supply Co 93.00
Thrifty White Pharmacy 4,343.51
United Parcel Service 127.98
Vivian Schmidt 3,600.00
Waverly/City of 431.20
Wright Hennepin Electric 1,061.95
Xcel Energy 15.06
Final total $120,324.32
The meeting adjourned at 10:38 A.M
Published in the Herald Journal May 18, 2015.